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Assisted Living: Medication Management and Administration

The goal of assisted living is to give residents more control of their lives. Helping residents take medications on their own is one way to do that. If they are able, residents should be trained to take medications on their own.

However, not all residents can manage their medications alone. They may need help from a staff member. When staff help residents take medications, they have to follow rules related to:

  • Training.
  • Record-keeping.
  • Packaging medication.
  • Storing medication.
  • Disposing of medication.

We offer resources and outline the regulations related to various tasks in different types of assisted living facilities.

Who can help residents take medications in a residential care apartment complex?

RNs can help residents take medications. They also are responsible for helping residents manage medications. This includes storing, preparing, and monitoring the effects of medications.

RNs can assign some of these tasks to other members of the staff (Wis. Admin. Code § DHS 89.13(22)). No matter who performs tasks, Wisconsin Nurse Practice Act standards apply.

Can a community-based residential facility hire a nurse who only assigns injections?

Yes. However, the RN likely doesn't meet regulations (Wis. Admin. Code § DHS 83.37(2)(e) and Wis. Admin. Code § DHS 83.37(2)(b)).

RNs can assign tasks, such as injections, to staff at the facility. If the RN meets certain requirements, insulin can be in a vial or insulin pen. If not, the insulin must be in a unit dose packaging. This can be challenging for community-based residential facilities.

RNs who supervise others must (Wis. Admin. Code § DHS 83.37(2)(b)):

  • Manage how and when a resident receives medication.
  • Check the resident and their medical status.
Last revised November 9, 2023